Real talk: is there some kind of unwritten law that the first year a new baseball commissioner takes over he’s allowed to institute juiced baseballs? Is Our Commissioner Manfred sticking Capri Sun straws in baseballs across the league? Does he have someone else do the actual juicing? When Bud Selig told Manfred that he could juice the baseballs did he finish by doffing his toupee? Does Manfred own Dozier in fantasy? I got questions, y’all! Yesterday, the Pirates added five more homers to MLB’s bottom line: Sean Rodriguez (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) with his 14th homer; Jordache Mercer (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 11th; John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt (1-for-4) his his 6th, but the real damage was done by The Undread Pirate, Andrew McCutchen (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 22nd and 23rd homer, hitting .250. McCutchen got old real fast in every conceivable way over the last two years. His BABIP fell faster than a 40-year-old on the Cheesecake Factory Diet, his Ks shot up like he’s Danny Glover and he “ain’t got time” for walks and his steals dried up quicker than Cougs’ cactus. An actual cactus she bought at the supermarket and forgot to water over the course of three years. What did you think I meant? Oh c’mon! All of that for McCutchen who is still only 29 years old! I’m beginning to think he’s 29 years old like Debra Winger’s listed as 29 years old on her headshot. In 2017, I think McCutchen won’t be drafted anywhere near where he’s been in the last two years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall to the 75 to 100 range, which might actually reverse his fortunes and make him a value play again. Except for those that drafted Carlos Gomez this year, they’re not falling for the ol’ banana in the tailpipe again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Chad Kuhl – 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.97. Doesn’t Chad Kuhl sound like he got his name from an 80s Movie Villain Name Generator? Meh, maybe it’s me. Any hoo! He’s a streamer that I’d use the Stream-o-Nator on, so stop popping your collars like you’re Kuhl.
Freddie Freeman – Out on paternity leave. When he returns, he will be Freddie Never-A-Freeman-Again.
Nick Castellanos – Still a week away from a simulated game. Nick, you might want to call it an años.
Miguel Sano – Headed back to Twin Cities for a back exam. Oddly enough, to deliver twins, Minnesotans go to Back City.
Hector Santiago – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.65. When the Twins traded Nolasco for Santiago, I’d have to imagine, this is the kind of start they were expecting from Santiago, because expecting anything better would be completely delusional.
Brian Dozier – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 15th steal, hitting .282. Okay, okay, c’mon now, Dozier. All of this fantasy goodness and your owners are going to be staggering around like Redd Foxx with their hands on their chest, screaming, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!”
Eddie Rosario – 3-for-4, 2 runs. I like capitalizing on day games on short schedule days, because you know exactly who’s in the lineup. Nothing worse than grabbing a batty call only for him not to play at night. With that said, I grabbed Jorge Polanco who went 0-for-5, while Rosario was staring at me, daring me to pick him up. I’m stupid.
Jason Vargas – Will make his season debut on Saturday after battling back all year from Tommy John surgery. Or Surgerio de Tomas Juan as it’s known in the medical school where Steve Guttenberg studied in Bad Medicine.
Edinson Volquez – 3 1/3 IP, 8 ER. Damn, Cousin Sweatpants, I don’t want any part of the A’s right now on the road. First, they treated Yordano like Yordano treats everyone, then they killed Edinson like they were Alfredo Simon.
Joey Wendle – 4-for-6, 3 runs. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because he’s a hot schmotato. Hey, Mr. Wendle.
Marcus Semien – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 25th homer, hitting .235. Told you he’d get to 25 homers! I just didn’t mention that every major league baseball player would also get to 25 homers. Well, except Paul Goldschmidt.
Ryon Healy – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer, and his 4th homer in the last eight days, which is a week for The Beatles.
Daniel Mengden – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.68. Former Mets’ 1st baseman and current A’s starter, Mengden, got a huge lead and cruised out to the Ivictory Coast for a free room at the W.
Stephen Vogt – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 12th homer. I thought he was swinging a hot bat, but I just looked at his month splits and yuckety splits.
Masahiro Tanaka – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 0 Ks, ERA at 2.97. No foolsies, I have no idea how a pitcher goes into Fenway, gets no Ks and gives up seven baserunners with only one earned run. I also don’t know how a pitcher throws with a torn tendon, so Masahiro is a man of mystery.
Starlin Castro – 4-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, hitting .275. This past offseason, I said, “Castro feels set up to have his biggest season to date, and I’m going to project him as such.” And that’s me quoting me! He did have his biggest season, I did project him for it, and still only gave him a .274 average and 16 HRs.
Dellin Betances – 1/3 IP, 4 ER, and his 5th blown save, ERA at 2.83. Wow, he got his teeth kicked in. Hanley (1-for-5, 3 RBIs) did most of the kicking with his 25th homer, a walk-off jobber. I quickly scrolled through Betances’ previous three years and he had given up four earned before in an inning once. Never in only a third of an inning. Betances has been so overworked he wakes in the middle of the night, screaming, “Joe Torre?!” Betances will likely get one well-deserved night off tonight, but it’s doubtful he’s removed from the closer role without an injury.
David Ortiz – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 34th homer. I just thought of something, you know how teams are giving Ortiz parting gifts? The Twins should’ve gave him 20 years of highlights with a Twins’ jersey CGI’d onto Ortiz’s body. Am I too late for this suggestion? *sees Twins gave Ortiz a gift in June* Shucks.
Kevin Kiermaier – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 19th steal. I wonder if he’s gonna be in this afternoon’s Buy. Hmm, let me think about that, I’ve mentioned him every day for the last ten days. Yeah, prolly.
Steven Souza – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. ProTip: every Rays hitter is hot.
Evan Longoria – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 33rd homer. Or 22 homers with non-juiced baseballs.
Steve Pearce – Shut down for 10 days. I don’t want to be a fly in the ointment, but if he’s shut down for 10 days, what’s he coming back for? The last inning of the last game?
Yovani Gallardo – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. “Well, I don’t fully trust Yovani but he’s been good lately, and it’s against the Rays and, what the hey, how bad could it be? Only my entire H2H season is riding on this. All 178,002 hours I’ve devoted to it.” Thirty minutes later, “Mommy, make the pain go away?!”
Mike Montgomery – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.66, and 3.27 on the Cubs. The Stream-o-Nator liked this start, but I was a bit more tentative, due to Montgomery’s likelihood to not go deep and possibility for Wrigley to blow balls out. *awkwardly crosses legs* With that said, Montgomery’s next start looks identical in the eyes of the SON.
Jorge Soler – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Between Montgomery and Soler, this Cubs game should leave the rest of the NL like, “So, the Cubs don’t even need their top 35 terrific players, huh? Okay, just don’t let Tommy La Stella beat us. Please.”
Keon Broxton – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, and his third homer in the last six games. Fun fact! When I chop wood with my hand karate-style, I scream, “Keon!”
Rich Hill – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.06. He gave up a two-out home run to Kyle Jensen, because, like me, he obviously thought he was facing the Dodgers’ closer. This is almost as confusing as Mr. Robot. So, is this phase two?
Andrelton Simmons – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, and 3rd homer this week. Two of those homers came in his last game played. I looked at Andrelton on waivers, but, since it was a late game, I wasn’t sure if he was going to play, and didn’t grab him. He is at the top of the hot schmotato charts (there are no hot schmotato charts).
Marco Estrada – Pitching through a herniated disc. I’ve heard of looking through the hole of a floppy disc, but pitching through a herniated disc? I’ve never!
Russell Martin – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 19th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. He was named after John Coltrane with his middle name, and his dad used to play the sax. So, my proposal, after a home run, he does jazz hands.
Buster Posey – 4-for-5, 1 run, hitting .290. I believe this is my first Posey update all season. A good catcher is so whatevs. A seemingly good catcher that is actually yawnstipating is much worse. Posey perpetuates likes he’s great, but he’s been about as valuable as Melvin Upton this year. Lowercase yay.
Jaime Garcia – Was moved to the bullpen with Alex Reyes taking his spot, which makes me so excited dot dot dot for next year, but I’d simply look at matchups for Reyes for this year.
James Shields – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.84. Damn, be a real shame if he doesn’t have an ERA north of six when the season ends, considering how close he is. Remember, there’s only been 40 pitcher years of 6.00+ ERA since 1921, and not once in the last eight years. 200 IP and 6.00+ ERA is even more rarefied garbage. I mean, this is like Donald Trump’s garbage, which is the best garbage one can find thrown away. 6.00+ ERA and 200 IP has only happened once since 1932. God bless your horrendously poor pitching, Pedro Astacio.
Jose Abreu – 2-for-3 and his 24th homer, hitting .299. A child tugs on my hand, and I glance down over my mustache. “Yes, child?” “When was it you realized 25 HRs and a .300 average were boring as dog balls to own?” “When Jose Abreu was hot crizzap for four months and still had a 25 HR, .300 season.” “Interesting. By the way, nice mustache. Are you a cop?” “Amscray, you brat!”
Yan Gomes – After taking a pitch off his hand, he will get an MRI on his hand. If it’s fine, he will make a turkey of said hand’s MRI. If it’s not fine, he will make a sad turkey. It’ll all come down to charcoal shading.
Padres – Their GM was suspended for bad medical reports. Buster Olney said, “San Diego Padres officials instructed their organization’s athletic trainers to maintain two distinct files of medical information on their players — one for industry consumption and the other for the team’s internal use.” I thought every team lied about their medical reports. Have you heard the latest from the Mets on their pitchers? Seriously, this is a report on Matt Harvey in May, “There was some talk of skipping Harvey or even trying a phantom disabled list stint after he got lit up for five runs over five innings Tuesday against the Nationals.” In April, they said, “(Pitching coach) Warthen noticed Harvey’s back leg is collapsing when he pitches out of the stretch. This flaw could be affecting his consistency.” It wasn’t until mid-July the Mets said Harvey’s had numbness in his fingertips since spring training and he will have surgery to fix it. This is standard, how are the Padres getting investigated? Seriously! Other teams have doctors to check out players in trades, don’t they? This is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard since being stuck in an elevator with Margot Kidder.